You didn't honestly think we've been ignoring Bridgerton, the latest Regency (ish) period drama from Netflix and powerhouse producer Shonda Rhimes, did you?! As the hosts of Drama After Dark, we weren't about to let this show slip by, and even live tweeted our reactions to the show, afternoon tea at hand, while we watched. But as drama queens raised on MASTERPIECE, what did we make of the show? Read on to find out more — but be forewarned! There will be spoilers.

First things first, what did we like about Bridgerton? Well, the production design, for one. The opulent and frankly gorgeous costumes caught our eyes right away.

Look, we watch a lot of period dramas. A lot. Andrea's written about costuming for GBH multiple times, covering And Then There Were None and Victoria, and Jackie interviewed a fashion historian when Drama After Dark covered Poldark. Bridgerton is a whole new ball(gown) game. Not tethered to absolute historical accuracy, the production leans into opulence, with gowns sporting intricate embroidery and applique in a dizzying array of colors and textiles, and men's fashions well outside the standard "beige trousers, white shirt, cravat and a waistcoat."

Netflix put together a really great feature on what went into the costume design, for those of you who want to learn more.

The music design, which features orchestral adaptations of modern hits, was also a win for us.

And, to be blunt, we were also big fans of the overall thirstyness of this production. Eye candy is not in short supply!

Because yes, despite the familiar complaint of inacuracy — which some fans also leveled at our own Sanditon — Regency people did indeed have sex. Given that Bridgerton is based on a beloved romance series, it makes sense that the show brings viewers along on intimate scenes, which are well excecuted. Maybe TOO well excectued, in some cases...

There's also a fun mystery at the core of the show, separate from the romantic drama: the secret identity of Lady Whistledown. No, these writers will not spoil that particular twist, but let's just say the reveal had us pretty excited:

But, while we overall highly enjoyed the series, the awesome came along with a few things we didn't love.

Bridgerton is unusal compared to many other drama productions in that it employs inclusive casting, which we found very refreshing. But despite being ahead of many other shows, we still wanted more. It was wonderful to see Black actors in many of the main roles on the show; but it would have been more wonderful if the production didn't fall prey to colorism, casting those with a lighter skin tone in the core roles. Some of this is almost certainly a reflection of the film industry, which preferences BIPOC actors with lighter skin and more Eurocentric features, but it was a missed opportunity to feature those with darker complexions in leading roles. Worst, to us, is that one of the villains of the piece, Simon's horrible father, is played by one of the very few dark-skinned actors with lines, which plays into the racist correlation between dark and evil, as well as nasty racist stereotypes about Black fathers. Granted, one production can't be responsible for fixing all of Hollywood's problems, but it's a bummer to see a show that's clearly made with an inclusive lens fall short. We're just two people, so we reccomend these articles for more thoughts on Bridgertonand colorism, and how the show tackled (or didn't) race.

We also can't do a review of the series and not talk about Episode 6, which ends with a scene that, while apparently toned down from the books, still features an example of marital rape. Yes, you read that right. The main pairing in Season One involves one character who's desperate to start a family, Daphne, and her partner, Simon, who doesn't want children. The aforementioned episode ends with Daphne forcing the issue — and removing Simon's ability to prevent a pregancy. It's hard to watch, it's upsetting, and if the genders of these two characters were swapped, we have to assume we'd be reading a lot more thinkpeices about the show; and not flattering ones. Not only does Daphne escape any real consequences for her actions, but she also, somehow, retains the moral high ground. And within two episodes has convinced Simon to come around to her way of thinking. This 180 felt rushed, disingenuous, and frankly like a wasted opportunity to show an example of a happy child-free marriage.

Overall Grade
While we had two pretty major issues with the production, we will concede that Rome wasn't built in a day, you can't be all things to all people, [insert your preferred cliche here]. Bridgerton left us in awe of the costumes, the music, and the acting, and we'll definitely watch Season 2. But we think drama audiences deserve more — more nuance, more reflection, more diverse perspectives — and that much like Queen Charlotte when confronted by the Featherington family, we cannot yet pronounce Bridgerton "flawless."

Agree? Disagree? Tell us what you thought of Bridgerton on Twitter!